Posted in diet, paleo, whole30

Week One Whole 30 Recap

So we’re on day 8 of the whole30. I’ve made it a whole7 without caving in to social pressure or delicious media images of what I used to eat. I have trolled Pinterest for things that I would like to put in my face, but won’t. And there was one close call where I almost tested the kid’s pasta to see if it was cooked.

I was feeling thinner so I pulled on a pair of my size 8 shorts. I guess it was all in my head, hoping that I could drop a dress size in week. The shorts still wouldn’t button. Same as before. I so want to pull my scale out, but I haven’t, and I will not. I will not break the rule.

Things I have made from scratch this past week:

  1. mayonnaise
  2. pork breakfast sausage
  3. potato chips (I know, I know)
  4. cauliflower “rice”

Things I made last week that I have never made before:

  1. Stuffed peppers with grass-fed ground beef, cauliflower rice, heirloom tomato sauce, and spices (loved it!)
  2. Egg frittatas, various ingredients

Yesterday, for some reason, I felt happy. It was a beautiful day. The baby took naps longer than 10 minutes long, so I went outside and pruned the hedges and scrubbed the pool to get the algae into the filter. I didn’t want yesterday to end. I remember from my first attempt at a Whole30, having a change in my general disposition from one of grouchiness and lethargy to just being in an overall better mood. Maybe it’s back? I also feel like my skin is improving. The pores on my face look like they’re clearing out. It’s not perfect, but I don’t know… It just looks better to me without makeup.

So on to week two. Week two will come with a couple of challenges. First, my husband’s birthday is this week and he wants a pineapple upside-down cake (that he shouldn’t be eating!). Second, it is labor day weekend and we will be going to my mother’s for a barbecue. Rob and I have already talked about bringing some of our own food to make sure we stay compliant. We are worried it will hurt my mother’s feelings. She mentioned she wanted to give us a wedding cake at the barbecue since no one was at our wedding and we didn’t celebrate at all. She looked disappointed when I told her we would be doing a Whole30. We’ll see if she has a cake for us and figure out the best thing to do.

I’ll keep updating our progress through Twitter!

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Posted in parenting, ridiculousness

You’re Out of Your Mother Loving Mind

I’m filing this one under “parenting” and “ridiculousness.”

I caught this gem of a segment on the Today Show this morning. I have enjoyed being able to watch this morning show during my summer hiatus from work, but this segment was just too much for me. At first was I like, cool, my kids go back to school next week, I’m all for good ideas to make it better. And then I watched it and I was all like Tamron, I like you a lot. You’re my favorite Today Show host. But are you for real right now? You love this idea? Seriously? These are top tips?

Make the transition back-to-school go smoothly! Top tips for parents, kids – Parents – TODAY.com.

I think this lady is from crazy town. No one is going to wake their kids up to music and signal them in this way to know what to do in the morning. Is this for real? So ok, let me get this straight. Finding a song on your phone and playing it loud enough for your kids to hear is easier than just saying to them: “Brush your teeth before you knock someone out with your nasty breath!” Or. OR! Your kids just get used to the routine every morning–like most people do–and they pretty much know what to do without being told.

When my son was pre-school age, I used a chart for him on his wall as a sort of check-list for him, and that was a stretch, but not unrealistic. You think kids are going to respond to musical cues? Whose kids do you have? And how is this done? Do you have a playlist set up in their room that goes off at the right time? Or do you have to walk your iPod over there and hold it up in the room so they hear it… I just… I don’t understand all the logistics of this plan. This sounds complicated more than it does simplifying. How have kids gotten ready for school until now without songs to let them know? Try that musical crap with my boys and see what happens. No kids I know are going to give a shit about music. Kids respond to threats. That’s what I know. Forget about it.

And then–THEN–This lady suggests journaling while in car pool lines?

WHAT? No. Just no. Is that her answer to not Face-booking when you’re waiting in your car? Journaling? Should we do seated car-yoga poses while we’re at it? Maybe her idea was to let your frustrations out in the book rather than honking your horn and waving fingers at the other parents in cars who aren’t paying attention and are trapping you in. Maybe this lady gets honked at a lot. 

And this journal? You know where it came from? From a “she-mergency kit.”

Yea I can see that not being embarrassing.

“Hey honey, do you have a pen in your car that I can sign my check with?”

“Yes, dear, it’s located in my she-mergency kit.” *smile* And then also adjust your pearls and smooth your apron because you’re June-fucking-Cleaver.

There better be some Kit-Kats and Cadbury eggs in that she-merency kit, otherwise I’ll KNOW it’s a joke. Every “carpool emergency kit” needs chocolate. I didn’t see that in there, though.

I’m sorry. She seems like a lovely lady, and her family must be very lucky… But her ideas are just unrealistic. I don’t have a place in my home to store decorated, organizational soup cans on a three-tiered cupcake stand in my home. Our kids have to pull the pencils out of “the drawer” every day. And “the drawer” isn’t lined with cutesy contact paper, and doesn’t contain a special organizer for pencils, either. I guess she does have the space for this stuff. Maybe thinking up these brilliant ideas is what pays for her cupcake stands. I don’t know. Come to my house and pull this shit and see what happens. And we’re neat and orderly in our home and our kids aren’t horrible brats, either.

I feel like trying this one day, the music thing, recording it, and uploading it to the Internet. For fun. Let’s see how many times the boys ask me “uh what does that song mean?” And when I tell them it means eat your damn Cheerios, I could have told them that without Pharell’s help thank-you-very-much.

Posted in parenting

Back When I Was Growing Up…

I’m sitting here watching a re-run of “the Chew” while I feed the baby, and the hosts are all talking about when they were growing up regarding a certain subject–food. Of course. It’s the Chew, after all. Specifically chocolate milk (it’s the chocolate episode). The hosts are all talking about how when they were kids they drank water and how sugary drinks were an occasional treat, and not served every day in the school cafeteria.

Every now and then, that post gets passed around Facebook about what childhood was like when we were kids. It talks about how we played outside until the street lights came on and how our toys were simpler than they are today and yada, yada. I think that post comes from my generation. I graduated high school in 1998. I had a video game console, but we played with other things more often. I would get on my bicycle in the morning and be gone for hours. I didn’t have a cell phone to check in with. Kids got in fights at school and weren’t charged by the police. I shared a bedroom and for a while, a bed with my younger sister. And we didn’t have to practice active shooter scenarios in school, ever.

Adults are always telling their kids about “when I was a kid.” Heck, my husband and I do it, too. A few days ago, I was telling TJ that I didn’t get to pick the radio station in the car until I was the driver. He had been asking us to change the station to a “good station” instead of the 90s station that Rob and I like to listen to sometimes. I told him how when my mom was home, I didn’t get to pick what we watched on television. We had one television and it was hers, and I don’t remember harassing her about it, either. It was just the way it was. (We didn’t change the station for him despite his complaints.)

But my point is this. Yes, things were different when we were kids. My mother told me how her childhood was different from mine. I’m sure her mother told the same thing to her.

What good is complaining about it, though? These are YOUR kids. If they play all day on the game console, what good does it do to tell them, “When I was a kid, I didn’t have a game console. I played outside all day.” If your kids are drinking soda at school, what good does it do to tell them that you didn’t have that option when you were in school, you had to drink milk or water? If your kids are talking back, what good does it do to tell them that you got slapped across the face if you got fresh to your parents? If your kids are playing inside on game consoles, if they’re drinking soda or chocolate milk every day, if they’re talking back to you, or any other undesirable behavior–whose fault is that? Someone is providing them with those things or allowing the behavior.

If you don’t like something about your kid’s attitude, don’t tell them about how it was when you were a kid. Just like when we were kids, we didn’t care that mom and dad walked uphill both ways to school in the snow wearing socks. It meant nothing to us as we were waiting for the school bus. It didn’t affect us. We didn’t have to walk to school in the snow. And my kids don’t even have to walk to the bus stop! They can’t take the bus because we’re taking them to a school that’s out of our district, but when they complain about the amount of time it takes to clean the snow off the car, I remind them they’re lucky they get a ride at all rather than having to walk to school in the snow. But why bother telling them? They don’t care. Just like the kids before them didn’t care, and just how their kids will not care as they’re Face-timing into their classrooms from home 15 years from now.

If you don’t like the behavior, don’t write paragraph after paragraph about what it was like for you. Your kids aren’t going to read it. They certainly aren’t going to have an attitude adjustment if they did.

“OMG, mom. I didn’t know you only had a house phone when you were a kid… I feel much more grateful for my smartphone now.”

Psh.

You might feel good about being able to buy your kid their first car. But telling them about the beater you had to purchase yourself and how well you loved it doesn’t make them appreciate what you did for them or encourage them to take better care of it.

You might feel proud that you can take your kids on vacation every year. But will they appreciate the vacation more because you tell them you never went on vacations growing up?

It might feel good buying your kid brand-name clothing from the mall, but does your child appreciate it more because you told them you wore hand-me-downs and did back to school shopping at discount stores?

You might feel like a good parent as you usher your kids to music or to sports practices. Do your kids appreciate it any more because you tell them you weren’t allowed these activities? You had to help care for family members or the home during that time.

Probably not.

Hey, the only people reading that stuff posted online about our childhood is us, and we’re all just nodding in recognition of all the similarities in how we were raised. So if you don’t like it–do something different. Take the console controllers away. Don’t buy them Grand Theft Auto. Get your kids a bicycle and let them ride it. Pack their lunch for school with white milk or water. Leave the cupcakes in the grocery store until it’s their birthday. Let them buy their own car. Don’t give them a choice of what to watch on tv. When they talk back, punish them for it. Don’t tell them how you were disciplined–discipline them! Learn to say “no.”

There is a difference between discipline and abuse. Even though junior is hating his punishment and is screaming like you’re smashing him in the face with a hammer, threatening to call child protective services on you when in fact all you did was take their game away or not take them to their friend’s party–you know you’re not abusing him. You’re giving your child value and discipline, which they’re going to need–just like we did–to grow into healthy adults who can manage their own lives effectively. Be a confident parent.  Be decisive. Just because you got smacked with kitchen implements doesn’t mean it was right, but it doesn’t mean now you should avoid disciplining your kid altogether because of it. Commiserating on the Internet or on t.v. about how much different our childhoods were isn’t helping anything. It’s not adding any value to our children’s lives or our society.

I challenge you to make a change. Stop complaining. Stop doing nothing. If you don’t like something–change it.

Posted in diet, paleo

I Know, I Know, It’s Only Day Two

As day two of our Whole 30 is coming to a close I want to say what a difference it makes emotionally to have someone at home to do it with you. I am so impressed with the enthusiasm my husband is showing for this program. It has been such a difference in him from all the times I wanted to go at it alone. I know it’s only day two, but if he wasn’t doing it with me, I wouldn’t have made it past day one. For real. I’ve tried before.

Today, we put the baby in the car and drove all the way to the Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s markets which are not conveniently located to us, unfortunately. The produce there is noticeably so much more beautiful than the produce at our local grocery store. For the first time, after years of criticizing my label-reading, Rob was helping me read labels to ensure Whole 30 compliance. Hopefully we found enough ingredients to make enough compliant meals for us. 

ALSO! When we got home, we took our before pictures and took note of our before weights. I was actually pleasantly surprised by my before weight. When Rob told me how much he weighed, given all of the eating out and over-eating I have been doing, I thought I would weigh almost as much as him (my fear was I could have weighed more!). Come to find out I’m only a few pounds off of my pre-pregnancy weight and enough off his his weight to be satisfied with for now. It’s still too big a number for my comfort, but it was a nice surprise. I will share my before and after and total pounds lost (if any) when I complete the 30 days. We did take our weights on day two. We acknowledge you aren’t supposed to step on the scale for the entirety of the program, but we had no idea where we stood weight-wise, so we wanted a baseline to start with. We missed doing it yesterday or the day before. Actually, we didn’t even have a scale. But now I know! And I will be looking forward to comparing photographs next month. I think if it shows good progress physically, it would really motivate me to continue a Whole 9 type diet. 

So anyway, again, I feel so good about having a partner–my partner–going through this program whole-heartedly with me. Yesterday, he made his own mayonnaise, people. His own mayo. He said he didn’t even know before yesterday that you could make your own mayo. And now we have home-made mayo in our house for the first time. He is even telling his friends about the home-made mayo. I love it. 

 

 

Posted in ridiculousness

First Blog Post Since August 19th

I have to get this off my chest. 

I watch the news or news-like morning programs almost every day. Have you ever noticed when reporters take an event and tell you it’s the first time this happened since… whenever? 

Sooo you’re telling me it’s not the first time this happened, then. Right?

Why do they DO that? It makes me crazy. For example, hurricane Julio that just came through Hawaii last week. That was the FIRST hurricane in “decades” said CNN

Wouldn’t it be better to say that they haven’t had a hurricane in decades? It’s not really their first. 

The news does this all the time with practically any kind of news. It’s the first panda born since the last panda was born. It’s the first stock market plunge this bad since the market plunged five years ago. It’s the first time the nation has seen this in 65 years. 

It’s getting pretty ridiculous. 

Posted in CG, Uncategorized

Not Anyone’s Princess

Baby CG and I are enjoying an easy Sunday morning, watching Disney’s Aladdin on cable, no doubt the effect of dear Robin William’s death last Monday. Well, I am watching Aladdin, and CG is sleeping in her swing. 

I was ten years old when Disney’s Little Mermaid came out, and oh, how I loved Ariel and her undersea adventures. I learned all of her songs and tried to sound just like her. Aladdin was the first movie I watched in theatre more than once. The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas–it didn’t matter that I was getting older. The magic of the Disney movie didn’t fade for me. I loved the colorful animation and the songs… Never once in my memory do I remember wanting to be a princess. My parents never called me their princess, either. Brat, yes. Princess, no. 

On my first visit to Downtown Disney in 2008, I noticed their little “princess factory” shop, or whatever it is called. A little girl sat in a salon chair near the shop window, waiting as she was transformed into one of the Disney princesses. Her hair was being slicked back into a high bun and sprinkled with glitter. I wondered to myself what that indulgence was costing her parents and thanked the stars that I had a son. I greet numerous princesses at my door every Halloween. It is not difficult to find clothing screen-printed with “princess” across the rear end or the chest. If I wanted, I could have a license plate cover bejeweled and adorned with the word Princess. It seems that everyone wants to be a princess these days.

I cringed when someone commented under one of my daughter’s pictures on Facebook that she was her “daddy’s princess.” I made it clear to my husband before she was born that she would not under any circumstances be referred to as a princess. I let the comment go because my friends don’t know that we don’t have a princess. Yes, she is beautiful. Yes, she is special to us. Yes, she is loved. Adored, even. But she is not our princess. We call her our little lady. We call her our sweetheart. Our sweet, little, cupcake. We never call her a princess. And that’s the thing. She is special… to us. She is our gift. 

I cannot buy-in to this princess concept that seems to have caught such great momentum since I became an adult. Seemingly everyone is a princess now. And what are princesses like in these movies? Ariel disobeys her father–the king–because she is 16 and “not a child.” Typical teenager. Great role model there. Cinderella was abused by her step-mother, so it’s no wonder she was so willing to run away with a man she barely knew. Not such a smart move there, Cinderelly. Sleeping Beauty–another one waiting for a man to save her. Entitled much? 

I know I say now I will not have a princess living in my house. Those will be my famous last words until my daughter wants to be a princess. And of course since I’ve said this, now I have sealed her fate and she will most definitely want her tiara and princess costumes. But I do not want my daughter growing up thinking she will be catered to like a little princess. I don’t want her waiting on a man to rescue her or do anything for her. I want to teach her how to check her oil and change a tire on her car. I want her to be able to identify the different tools in the toolbox and know how to use them. I don’t want her waiting for the gentleman to put his coat down over a puddle so she can cross the street. Hell no. Your pretty little feet are getting muddy and wet, sweetheart! Your shoes are just shoes. Get ’em wet. 

I am sure she will dance on her daddy’s feet. I am sure I will lace her braids with ribbons if she likes that sort of thing. We can have tea parties and paint our toenails with glittery polishes. We can have tea parties and pretend for a little while that we are princesses. But I will not refer to her as my little princess. I will not buy her a tee-shirt, or pencils, or lunch boxes labeling her as such. At the end of the day, she is a little girl like all the others. She is special to me, but not to the world. There will be other little girls who feel they are God’s gift to humanity and deserve a princess’ treatment and entourage, and whose parents support this. My daughter will not learn to have those expectations. At least she won’t learn those expectations from me. 

 

Posted in CG

Two Months

Dear CG,

You are two months old today. You have made these past two months more memorable than you will ever realize. Unexpectedly, you were whisked off to another hospital on the morning we were supposed to be bringing you home. Your daddy and I watched helplessly as the transport team drew blood from your tiny veins and strung you up like a guitar with tubes. This was not the beautiful entrance into the world that we were hoping to give you. You accepted every poke and every prod with very little complaint. I cried more than you did.

Your grandparents, my mother and father, were our saving grace while you were in the NICU. They were the reason we could spend as much time by your bedside as we did. Your brothers were still in school and your grandfather made sure they got there and back when we were with you. Your grandfather made sure the boys were fed so I could make sure I was with you to feed you.

You were such a tiny girl to me, less than 7 lbs. Your little face was covered with tape to hold the oxygen tubes in your nostrils. It would be a couple more weeks before we saw your beautiful cheeks without tape. You always liked having your hands up by your face–we saw that in the many ultrasounds we had before you were born. You would bring your little hands up to your face and hold on to those tubes, threatening to pull them out. Sometimes you did pull them out. I was alright with that, hoping that you would show the staff that you didn’t need them.

You got worse before you got better. Your tiny lungs resisted the seven long days of antibiotics. You required more oxygen assistance than when you first arrived. I cried as I sung to you, holding your little body against mine, desperately trying to nurse you. The nurses needed to know how long you would nurse and I never really knew. You would get so tired. I tried so hard to help you drink, knowing that the threat of a feeding tube loomed if we were unsuccessful. I didn’t want you attached to another tube. It didn’t matter. They said you were too tired to drink properly and they would need to assist you, and the nurse put a tube in your nose through to your stomach.

It wouldn’t be long before you pulled it out. And another nurse came on shift and let me feed you again.

I practically lived at that NICU with you. Cuddling you. Expressing my milk into bottles for you so your daddy could feed you when I went home. Oh, your daddy is so in love with you. He worried about you. He held you and held you, hoping to bring you comfort in his safe arms. Listening to the doctors talk about you twice a day, hoping to convince them to spring you from your little hospital jail.

Almost two weeks passed like this. Your dad and I were there with you more than any other NICU parents that we noticed. Your direct neighbors were micro-preemies who would be in there for months. We remembered how blessed we were to have a full term baby as those babies monitors beeped endlessly and their mothers wept beside the isolettes.

Your first month was filled with lots of tubes and nurses and appointments, and ultimately so much love and compassion. You came home when you were fourteen days old. It was one of the best days of my life besides the days that you and your brother, J, were born.

Your second month, your dad and I decided to be a little… adventurous. We tested out how well you would breathe on your own. The doctor had cautioned us to keep you on oxygen at night, but the doctor didn’t understand how difficult it would be to keep the cannula in your nose when you would keep pulling it out.

The night we let you sleep without it was the best night of sleep you had until that day. Maybe it was time to let your body take control of itself and heal itself. We nervously left the oxygen tube off your face, bringing the oxygen canister with us, just in case you needed it. Soon enough, we were comfortable with letting you breathe on your own. Without oxygen being pumped into your lungs, you spit up less, proving that it wasn’t necessarily reflux making you gag and spit. It was the very thing the doctors were giving you to make you better that was causing you to cough up milk.

Unfortunately, we learned today on your two-month pulmonology follow-up that you still require oxygen at night for apnea. We are heart-broken, but will be more compliant. The oxygen may not heal you, but it will doubtlessly keep you breathing until your little body can do it on its own.

Just before you turned seven weeks old, we took you on your first vacation to Florida. You loved the beach and the gulf water. You got to meet your paternal grandmother who you were named after (you were named after both of your grandmothers, actually), your aunt and uncle and great-grandparents, too. Everyone loved you. Of course they did.

Your father and I decided to tie the knot on that vacation, too. I think you convinced him it was time. It was time to outwardly promise our commitment to one another and become one family instead of a mixed bag of a pseudo-family. I knew when I met your father I wasn’t ever going to let go of him. He is a good man, CG, and I know how lucky I am to have somehow earned his heart. I hope one day you find yourself in love with someone at least as good as he is. Our hope is that we give you a good example of what a healthy relationship looks like. What real love looks like.

Every day I look at your beautiful face and wonder how in the world your dad and I created something so beautiful. You are starting to smile now. I love your smile maybe more than I have ever loved anything else before. You smile with your whole face and it is magic. You love to be held more than anything else. We are trying to get you used to not being held as sadly, I have to return to work in a few weeks. Trust me, baby girl. I would never put you down if I didn’t have to. I wish I didn’t have to go back to work. I was blessed to be able to stay home with your brother J for more than two years. I wish I had the same opportunity, but unfortunately life is much different today. But I love you just as much!

CG, without even trying, you have changed all of our lives in an amazing way. You brought us together. You brought us closer. We all work together for you. You reminded us of the beauty of life. You have given us more to look forward to in the years to come. We all love you so much, sweet girl. I am sorry for the rough start you experienced, and I hope you have nothing but smooth sailing from here on out.

I love you,

Mama

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Putting on the “Brave” Face

So I saw this in my Facebook feed this morning from Women’s Health. Page one says it is “brave” to go anywhere without makeup and it’s even more “ballsy” to show your face without makeup on Instagram.

Whaaaaat?

Brave? Seriously?

The worst part is, these celebs look just as pretty without their magic makeup as they do with it. Every one of them. What is Women’s Health trying to show us? Were they seriously trying to show regular women with regular lives and paychecks that these celebrity women are normal, too? Cause it doesn’t. If anything, it showed me how I–an average woman–does not measure up. Not even close.

I went out to the grocery store without makeup today and was worried about scaring young children. I guess that makes me brave? My son, bless his sweet heart, tells me constantly that I do not need makeup and that I look the same with it as I do without it. Glad to know my disguise isn’t working and I’m still recognizable in my painted face. Anyway, I am rarely willing to leave home without at least a little makeup, usually mascara as a minimum to give my eyes some contrast. I would never, ever allow a photo to be taken without enough makeup on to hide what I really look like… Unless I looked like some of the women in that Women’s Health article. Which I do not look anything like they do. And my goal in wearing makeup is seriously to disguise my real appearance. I don’t personally wear heavy cosmetics and keep it to neutrals. I don’t ever wear unnatural colors on my lips. But my goal is to look much better than my true self.

So come on WH — Rosie the Victoria’s Secret model? Jennifer Aniston? Megan Fox? These women are just not typical, and it doesn’t make me feel any better that they can not wear makeup in pictures and look normal and pretty and I cannot. And showing real women who look pretty without makeup won’t help, either. No. Because I don’t look pretty without makeup. I don’t care what my son says.

Is it any wonder women are so frigged up when they look in the mirror? I admit I am a total victim of this type of media. I get sucked in. I compare myself even though intellectually I should know better. But showing abnormally beautiful women without their makeup masks on isn’t “brave” or “ballsy.” It just isn’t. Brave is running into a dangerous situation without regard for yourself in order to save another life. Not wearing makeup is just, well, normal.